Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Piranha Bit Me

A beautiful Sunday morning here at the Doyle homestead. The sun is shining, birds are singing, and my youngest son is apparently bleeding. Not a lot of blood, of course, but enough to make a little smear on the carpet while he was sitting down for breakfast. At least I think it was during breakfast and I think it was him bleeding, but he is only 3 and sometimes he has difficulty expressing the complex ideas in his head through his limited vocabulary. Perhaps he bled yesterday, or the day before, or possibly not at all and the stain we were looking at was from jelly or some other red substance. At this point the only thing I am sure of is that there are a few red splotches on the floor and that he is claiming that it is his blood. I was in the kitchen preparing the morning oatmeal when I heard his voice.

"Dad," he said, rather nonchalantly. "Blood."

While not unusual in our house, blood is still something that gets my attention. "What about it?" I asked as I ran to the kitchen table where he was sitting.

"Mine," he said, continuing to play with his toys. Clearly this blood thing bothered me more than him.


"On the floor. Right there." He pointed at the spot and looked at me expectantly.

I began to check him over to see where it might be coming from. "Where are you bleeding?"

"On the floor."

"Right. I got that, but where is it coming out of you?"

"Where is what coming out of me?"

"Blood? Remember how you said you were bleeding? A second ago?" I was a little frantic because there was blood apparently coming out of my son and I didn't want him to get any more on our already stained carpet.

"It is on the floor, Dad."

"Yes," I said, trying to remain calm. "Thank you. But I am more concerned about why blood is coming out of you. Did you cut yourself? Do you have a scrape?"

"I have a Lego guy with no arms," said Ethan, proudly holding up a Lego guy with no arms.



"Where are you bleeding?"

"On the floor," he said, clearly irritated with his imbecile of a father. With this pronouncement he got off the chair, walked to the counter, grabbed a rag, and came back. "There," he said as he threw it on the ground and covered the stain. "All better."

When he sat back down I searched him and didn't find any sign of blood. "Ethan, I know that there is blood on the floor and that you are bleeding there, but where, on you, is the blood coming out?"

He pointed to his clearly unlemished finger and said, "Here. A piranha bit me."

"A piranha bit you," I asked, skeptical. "When?" The boys have been on a bit of an animal kick with library books and recently borrowed a few on buffalo, walking catfish, manatees, and piranhas. Ethan really likes the piranha book and wants it read to him several times a day.

He looked at me seriously. "Last night. It bit me on my finger."

I paused a second, took a breath and began to check him again. attempted one last time to get some valid information from my 3 year old. "That finger looks like it doesn't have anything wrong with it. Are you bleeding somewhere else?"

He scowled and pointed to the ground. "The floor."

At this point my patience for playing a version of "Who's on First" with my son had worn out and I suggested that maybe it was time for some oatmeal. Thankfully he agreed and there has been no more talk of blood, or bleeding, or fictional piranhas for the past 45 minutes. I still don't know where the blood was coming from, but what worries me more is that I am not completely convinced that he wasn't just messing with me. A little blood is easy to deal with. A 3 year old that has already started to play with my head is a little more worrisome.

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